Surging South Fayette boys soccer squad playing for lofty goals
TribLIVE Sports Videos
After a resurgence in 2012, the South Fayette boys soccer team is aiming for the stars this season.
“We set a couple of bench mark goals,” coach Rob Eldridge said. “We wanted to win our (season-opening) tournament, which we were able to do. The next step is to win the section and WPIAL and make an appearance in Hershey. Those are goals you have to strive for. If you don't, you are selling yourself short.”
South Fayette won 14 games last season – a turn around from three wins in 2011 – and made a run to the WPIAL Class AA consolation game where it fell to Belle Vernon, 1-0. The Lions return seven players from that squad.
“That is a pretty substantial number no matter if it is soccer or football or whatever sport,” Eldridge said. “Whenever you return seven experienced guys, it is much easier to move forward with the program.”
Junior Brian Coyne is leading the offensive attack – he scored four goals in the Lions' first three games – that also features senior midfielders Danny Pruss and Travis Revay and sophomore forward Jordan Smith.
The defense will be boosted by the return of seniors Dan Pruss and Evan Yee and juniors Nick McKee and George Slater.
The team is in a unique situation as it has split time between two goalkeepers in senior Alex Gedrys and junior Andrew Pine. While Gedrys was an All-WPIAL selection in 2012 and recorded double-digit shutouts, being able to build depth in front of the net has led to the split time.
“If something physical happens, you want a contingency plan in place,” Eldridge said. “I would hate to be in a position where (Gedrys) plays all the games and suffers an injury. We are kind of investing in our security.”
The plan has worked as the Lions opened the season 4-0, including Section 5-AA wins over Keystone Oaks and Montour. South Fayette's defense has been strong as the team has outscored opponents 11-0.
The Lions know things will get tougher against the top squads of Section 5-AA – the section Eldridge called the best in Class AA.
The section features defending WPIAL Class AA champion Quaker Valley, not to mention a West Allegheny team that has outscored its first five opponents 20-2 and an upstart Montour squad. Despite the challenge, seeing these team on a weekly basis and going into hostile environments should prepare a team for the postseason.
“If you can make it through,” Eldridge said.
The Lions return to the field Saturday at they travel to Waynesburg Central for a 7:30 p.m. start.
Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or 412-388-5813.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.